What do Ramadan Mubarak and Maradan Kareem mean, how are the greetings different and when should you say them?

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AS Ramadan has now begun you might hear two phrases a lot – Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak.

The phrases have slightly different meanings. Here's all you should know about why they are different.

 Ramadan is broken by a feast after sunsetAlamy Ramadan is broken by a feast after sunset

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is a period of fasting observed by Muslims across the globe to celebrate "the best of times".

It celebrates the first time the Koran was revealed to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief.

Fasting is only obligatory for healthy adult Muslims, anyone who is suffering from an illness, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating are exempt from the practice.

The fasting period, during which Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink, is from dawn to sunset and Muslims engage in increased prayer activity.

Muslims often try and practice an increased self-discipline during the month of Ramadan.

In 2018 it starts on the evening of May 15 and ends in the evening of June 14

What do Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Kareem mean?

Ramadan Mubarak translates to mean either "blessed Ramadan" or "happy Ramadan".

Ramadan Kareem means "may Ramadan be generous to you" but there is some debate as to if it should be used during Ramadan.

 During Ramadan there is an increased amount of prayer activityAlamy During Ramadan there is an increased amount of prayer activity

Are the greetings different and when are they used?

The greetings are different as Ramadan Mubarak offers a blessed or happy Ramadan to the person it is exchanged with.

Whereas Ramadan Kareem has debate around its use as it asks Ramadan to be generous to the other person.

There is some disagreement over its use as some people believe that asking Ramadan to be generous to you goes against the teachings of Islam, because Ramadan itself cannot be generous to an individual.

Saudi Arabian scholar Sheikh Al-Uthaymeen told the Express: “It should be said ‘Ramadan Mubarak’, or whatever is similar to it, because it is not Ramadan itself that gives so that it can be kareem (generous), in fact it is Allah who placed the grace in it, and made it a special month, and a time to perform one of the pillars of Islam.”

Ramadan Mubarak is the most commonly used of the two as it was originally used by the prophet Muhammad

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